Interviewee: Eubert Sigmon Interviewer: Allison Wonsick. Date: November 2, 2010
Eubert Sigmon was born in 1935, in Catawba County, North Carolina. In 1944, he contracted polio and was sent to the emergency polio hospital in Hickory, NC. Months later, he was able to return home.
Part of Sigmonâs interview covers the care received at the polio hospital and his memories of nurses. Some nursesâ aides at this hospital were actually young, female prisoners whose sentences were being commuted in exchange for their work in what was considered a dangerous setting. Sigmon describesâ nursesâ help with tasks as diverse as his physical therapy and his schoolwork, and he reflects on the differences between this experience and a recent hospital stay. Sigmon also recounts the different treatments he received at the polio hospital, such as injections, âhot packsâ placed on affected body parts, and bathtub therapy. He discusses his daily routine at the hospital, which included activities like listening to the radio and constructing model planes. He describes the quarantine measures for his disease, which was not well understood at the time, and discusses the effect that polio has had on him over the course of his lifetime.